GW17: Knee Jerk

As I continually look over the options for my Gameweek 17 starting XI, I am left with an empty feeling, knowing my squad has some glaring deficiencies. The injury and subsequent “rest” for Alvaro Morata was unexpected, as I had him pegged as a full time starter in my 4-5-1. Rarely did I plan on playing Callum Wilson or Jamie Vardy up front in his formation. Vardy continues to struggle and his exit ticket had already been punched for Gameweek 18. However, with injuries I might have to make a unplanned transfer.

Phillipe Coutinho was shortlisted to make an appearance this coming weekend, as I had initially planned on rolling over the FT to give me two for Gameweek 18. The more I look over my squad, compare it to other fantasy managers and take into consideration the potential match ups. It might be worth a -4 point hit to bring in the likes of the Liverpool midfielder.

The only shortcoming of that move is, it leaves me with Charlie Austin, as the second transfer in place of Jamie Vardy. Thankfully, So’ton have a favorable home fixtures against Leicester, but moving forward they have a very difficult schedule, which could mean Austin is a spot starter. You can’t discount this 4 goals in 3 games. More than what Vardy has done in the last 6 gameweeks.

Using the tools at my disposal, the addition of Coutinho and Austin is an improvement over the injured Ramsey/Vardy I currently own. This works to my advantage, as I feel I could recover those lost -4 with the addition of Coutinho home to WBA.

The addition of Austin (or Calvert-Lewin) do allow me some flexibility in formation, which could be important because of rotation. A 3-5-2 could be favored depending on match ups or I could roll to a 4-5-1 or a 5-4-1 with Aaron Cresswell and
Pascal Groß swing players to watch.

While a -4 isn’t what I want to do this week, in what I am calling a “knee jerk” reaction to injuries I do feel it’s an acceptable risk moving forward, one that could allow me to capitalize on the form of players like Coutinho and Austin.

After the 4 hit, here is my updated starting XI for Gameweek 17. While I don’t like to lose Vardy, the fact is Austin is in much better form currently. Coutinho was already tagged to be brought in, I just pushed it forward a gameweek earlier for a point hit. A risk, as I said, I am willing to take at this point. Although coming off a season low, 35 points, I need to come back with a strong effort this week of this point hit could be for naught.

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